Maria Sharapova cruised through the second round at the Australian Open Tennis Championship with considerable ease. Her 6-2, 6-1 straight set victory of Aliaksandra Sasnovich moved her into the third round with her show of swift work and an excellent feeling of confidence at Rod Laver Arena Tuesday afternoon.
A solid win from the Russian against her first round opponent had things looking good for the former number one as she tries for another title at the open. She met against the Belorussian for the first time in her career with the 105th ranked putting up a great fight against Evgeniya Rodina in straight sets with her dominating strong on the tiebreaker in the second set. With the success of battling against a player with her kind of skills, more would need to be produced as she goes against Sharapova who brings thunderous speed on her service and returns.
She took the first three games straight winning by a double point margin on both holding her serve and breaking Sasnovich. Her fourth victory came on a game point landing a forehanded winner. The Belorussian battled back to get work done on Sharapova’s serve to win it on a double break where the Russian messed up on the forehand.
The fifth seed recovered well using a challenge that helped her win Game Six and serve for the set with 23 minutes of playing time in the books. Sasnovich wasn’t ready to give up fighting in the set and made the seventh game challenging for Sharapova. After four breaks of serve and three break point opportunities for Sasnovich, she managed to get a second win due to a double fault from the Russian.
It was a short victory for the Belorussian but as the eighth game got into play, Sharapova got her third set point chance where a line drive landed out of reach for the 21 year old. It took Sharapova 38 minutes to get halfway done with the match as her key to winning was landing 12 of 17 on the first serve and 16 of 21 on the return.
She opened the second looking focused from the first winning Game One on a love service before taking the second on a triple break. The Russian continued to hold serve despite ending her points streak against Sasnovich that led to a 3-0 margin. Game Four went to the Belorussian as her force of adversity came to light and battled he fifth seed into a pair of breaks before winning the game point to end the shutout.
She kept the will to play alive but Sharapova smelled the end of the match and did everything to make it happen by pushing on serve. She went up a second straight breaking Sasnovich on the game point where an unforced error on the backhand had the Russian in position to put the match to bed. With things going well in the seventh, Sharapova dealt with the double match point as she watched Sasnovich’s return fall long of the baseline to put the Russian into the third round after 1 hour and 11 minutes of play.
“I got the first round jitters out of the way and I have never faced Sasnovich before today and that’s always tricky and I’m happy I got through,” Sharapova said during her on court interview. Even with the rain coming down at Melbourne Park, Sharapova’s chance to play indoors worked well to prevent any waiting to be victorious. “I’m just happy to get the match in because I know a lot of them are waiting for the rain to stop.”
With things moving along so well for her, she will prepare for her third round match meeting the winner between Lauren Davis and Magdalena Rybarikova on Thursday.